(Online Course) Contemporary Issues for IAS Mains 2012: PIB – Bio Diesel [An Eco Friendly Fuel]

(Online Course) Contemporary Issues for IAS Mains 2012: PIB – Bio Diesel [An Eco Friendly Fuel]

(Online Course) Contemporary Issues for IAS Mains 2012: PIB – Bio Diesel [An Eco Friendly Fuel]

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Bio Diesel – An Eco Friendly Fuel

As our lifestyles become more ‘developed’ by the day, so does
the damage we do to the environment. Our every move, from watching television,
to working at a computer, to taking a flight to our favorite holiday destination
harms the environment in one way or the other. Air and water pollution levels
are increasing world over by the day. Never before has the need to use
alternative resources, such as wind, solar and nuclear energy been so high.
India is one of the largest petroleum consuming and importing countries. India
imports about 70 % of its petroleum demands. The current yearly consumption of
diesel oil in India is approximately 40 million tones constituting about 40% of
the total petro-product consumption. Bio-diesel can be the major replacement in
terms of petro-product consumption by India which is eco-friendly too.

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Bio-diesel is a clean burning, eco-friendly natural fuel
obtained from tree born oil by a chemical transformation process called
“Transesterification” carried out in a chemical processing plant.
Transesterification is an age old chemical process and is a time tested method
of transforming vegetable oils or fats into bio-diesel.

Bio-diesel is a bio-fuel produced from various feedstock’s’
including vegetable oils (such as oilseed, rapeseed and Soya bean), animal fats
or algae. Bio-diesel can be blended with diesel for use in diesel engine
vehicles. Bio-fuel – The term bio-fuel applies to any solid, liquid, or gaseous
fuel produced from organic (once-living) matter. The word bio-fuel covers a wide
range of products, some of which are commercially available today, and some of
which are still in research and development. Bio-diesel is a fuel made from
plant oils that can be used in a conventional diesel engine.

Bio-diesel, derived from the oils and fats of plants like
sunflower, rape seeds, Canola or Jatropha (Bhagveranda) can be used as a
substitute or an additive to diesel. As an alternative fuel bio-diesel can
provide power similar to conventional diesel fuel and thus can be used in diesel
engines. Bio-diesel is a renewable liquid fuel that can be produced locally thus
helping reduce the country’s dependence on imported crude petroleum diesel.
Bio-diesel is a safe alternative fuel to replace traditional petroleum diesel.
It has high-lubricity, is a clean-burning fuel and can be a fuel component for
use in existing, unmodified diesel engines. This means that no retrofits are
necessary when using bio-diesel fuel in any diesel powered combustion engine. It
is the only alternative fuel that offers such convenience. Bio-diesel acts like
petroleum diesel, but produces less air pollution, comes from renewable sources,
is biodegradable and is safer for the environment. Producing bio-diesel fuels
can help create local economic revitalization and local environmental benefits.
Many groups interested in promoting
the use of bio-diesel already exist at the local, state and national level.

Bio-diesel is not harmful to the environment. A vehicle tends
to pollute the environment and emits harmful gasses, if injected with HSD
whereas if the engine is using bio-diesel it emits no harmful gasses rather
keeps the environment pollution free. Bio-diesel may not require an engine
modification. Bio-diesel can be blended with diesel so as to improve the
efficiency of the engine without any hassles. Bio-diesel is cheap. Any Vehicle
using Bio-diesel has very low idle starting noise. It is noted that bio-diesel
has a Cetane number of over 100. Cetane number is used to measure the quality of
the fuel’s ignition. Bio-diesel is cost effective because it is produced

As it is easy to use, bio-diesel can be used in existing
engines, vehicles and infrastructure with practically no changes. Bio-diesel can
be pumped, stored and burned just like petroleum diesel fuel, and can be used
pure, or in blends with petroleum diesel fuel in any proportion. Power and fuel
economy using bio-diesel is practically identical to petroleum diesel fuel, and
year round operation can be achieved by blending with diesel fuel. Bio-diesel
provides significantly reduced emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter,
unburned hydrocarbons, and sulfates compared to petroleum diesel fuel.
Additionally, bio diesel reduces emissions of carcinogenic compounds by as much
as 85% compared with petro diesel. When blended with petroleum diesel fuel,
these emissions reductions are generally directly proportional to the amount of
bio-diesel in the blend.

The existence of low volatility nature of bio-diesel, makes
it easier and safe to handle than petroleum. The danger of accidental ignition
increases when the fuel is being stored, transported, or transferred because of
high energy content in all liquid fuels. The possibility of having an accidental
ignition is related to the temperature at which the fuel will create enough
vapors to ignite, known as the flash point temperature. The lower the flash
point of a fuel is, the lower the temperature at which the fuel can form a
combustible mixture. Bio-diesel has a flash point of over 26600F, meaning it
cannot form a combustible mixture until it is heated well above the
boiling point of water.

The resources that are used to produce Bio-diesel are locally
available. The in-house production of Bio-diesel provides host of economic
benefits for the local communities. Therefore, bio-diesel is a safe alternative
fuel to replace traditional petroleum diesel.

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